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Absorbing PerfectionsKabbalah and Interpretation$
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Moshe Idel

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780300083798

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300083798.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Absorbing Perfections

Moshe Idel

Yale University Press

This introductory chapter starts off with a discussion on arcanization and exegetical methods. Arcanization is defined as a way of understanding canonical texts in allusive techniques (e.g. symbolic and anagrammatic), while exegetical methods focus on the arrival of exegetical systems that provide certain procedures used to uncover the arcana supposedly existing within these texts. From there the discussion takes a turn to Judaism and its shift from a nomadic to a stable religion. It focuses on the religion's canonical writings, namely the rabbinic literature and the Hebrew Bible. It also outlines a process of arcanization within Judaism, which includes and clarifies the concept of the move from esotericism to exotericisim. The last few sections deal with a brief explanation of the three main forms of arcanization (i.e. the philosophical, the mystical, and the magical), the three primary Kabbalistic models (i.e. theosophical-theurgical, ecstatic, and talismanic), an analysis on the concept of hermeneutics as perceived in the book, and a review of the literature that was used for the following analysis.

Keywords:   arcanization, exegetical methods, canonical texts, Judaism, rabbinic literature, Hebrew Bible, Kabbalistic models, hermeneutics

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